Build consensus on farm laws, Montek Singh Ahluwalia tells Modi govt

Former Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia

: The NDA government which is

facing the heat from a section of farmers over new Agri laws, needs to build a consensus among people through discussions, former deputy chairman of erstwhile Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said here on Wednesday.

In an interactive session with former Reserve Bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao, organized by Manthan virtually, he said the rising fiscal deficit of the country due to COVID-19 pandemic is one of the major concerns and it cannot be allowed to continue, as it would "not allow enough room for the private sector to grow".

"I think that one general point arises is that when you have reforms that are going to affect people, then discussion and participation et cetera is part of the process of consensus building," Ahluwalia said when asked how the present impasse could be resolved.

Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, are protesting for nearly two-months at various Delhi borders against the three farm laws enacted by the central government in September 2020.

The government is holding discussions with the protesting peasants.

However there has not been any headway so far.

"I think you need to step back and you have to talk to people.

I dont know what the latest position is, but the good news is that talks are continuing.

But nobody is saying that they come to a resolution," the economist said.

According to him, economists are of the view that the country needs to reform agriculture markets and bring in the private sector to give it a fillip.

He also said there was a general perception that the whole exercise of bringing new farm laws was hastened and rushed through Parliament.

"The Covid pandemic...now our fiscal deficit is through the roof.

While my personal view is that in the middle of the pandemic that (high fiscal deficit) is justified.

We will have to bring it down.

Because we cannot continue high fiscal deficit, which do not allow us enough room for private sector to expand," he said on fiscal deficit.

The former bureaucrat advised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government not to raise import tariffs as they may not align with the ASEAN countries with whom India seeks economic cooperation.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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